Erbil, Iraq, October 7 (MTI) – Hungary will initiate that the European Union should provide 300 million dollars in support for Iraqi Kurdistan to finance its migrant services. In the absence of such a step, two million people, who have found refuge there, are expected to set off for Europe in the near future, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Erbil, in northwestern Iraq, on Wednesday.
The minister told MTI over the phone that he would submit the proposal at the next meeting of EU foreign ministers and internal ministers in Luxembourg on October 8. Szijjarto said he will initiate for representatives of Iraq and the Kurdistan region to be invited to the next conference on migration and the Western Balkans route to be attended by the EU member states, the Western Balkan countries, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.
Szijjarto held talks with President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani as well as with the region’s defence minister and foreign minister.
The minister said the reason for his visit to the Kurdistan region was that a significant number of migrants who enter Europe come from Iraq, adding that migrants from Iraq submitted the fourth highest number of asylum requests in Hungary.
Szijjarto said the crisis in Iraq is the second most severe humanitarian crisis in the world behind that of Syria, adding that Iraq gets the lowest amount of international aid in proportion to the magnitude of the crisis. He said some 8 million people in Iraq are in need of humanitarian aid, 4 million of whom are internal refugees.
“If the economic and security situation continues to worsen, these refugees will set off for Europe,” Szijjarto said.
Speaking about his meeting with Barzani, Szijjarto said they agreed that the solution to the migrant crisis lies outside Europe and that its causes need to be eliminated. They agreed that the Islamic State militant group needs to be stopped and that the Middle East has to be stabilised.
Szijjarto and Barzani agreed that unless the United States and Russia come to an agreement, the Syrian conflict will not be resolved anytime soon, which would have a destabilising effect on Iraq as well.
The minister also paid a visit to the Hungarian troops serving in Erbil.